Frank Ocean’s 2nd Version Arrives As ‘Blond’ [Blonde]
Today we’re reminded of that quote, ‘life is a journey, not a destination’, and as the world descends into Frank frenzy with the final arrival of ‘Blonde’, unlocking Frank’s journey over the past few years is where that seemingly ‘Endless’ road trip takes us.
As Frank looks behind the rear view window taking a glance at his journey over the past few years, traversing new experiences, living, learning and recording in London, LA, Tokyo, NYC, Miami, Paris. The Africano/Americano, coming to terms with his identity is a more self aware Frank with a worldly perspective.
Depending on your timezone, in a short window in LA, New York, Chicago and London, physical copies of the magazine and album were given out for free at the Blond/Blonde pop up stores to a lucky few. Simultaneously a note was posted on Franks Tumblr, talking straight boy fantasies about car obsessions and life without a car since moving to London a year ago, “I don’t want straight, a little bent is good.”
‘Blond’ boasts a big list of credits but as a listening experience is a beautifully sparse and stripped back artistic endeavour. Yes fans will undoubtedly be nosediving into that long list of big name album credits, but don’t get distracted, these are subtleties as the Beyonce feature glides angelically into ‘Pink + White’, while Kendrick and Frank converse on ‘Skyline To’, and Andre 3000 commands a complete ‘Solo’ (reprise).
Conspirators and inspirators, have included David Bowie, Kanye West, Jamie xx, The Beatles, Brian Eno, Pharrell Williams, Elliott Smith, James Blake, Yung Lean, Tyler, The Creator, Rostam Batmanglij (formerly of Vampire Weekend) amongst others. ‘Blonde’ as it appears on Apple music and ‘Blond’ on the cover, is not a one listen project, or a skip through experience – Sunday blessings require quite contemplation.